Monday 12 January 2015

Lily Rose: Patchy HSTs

I've cut some strips from assorted fabrics that I've decided to use for Lily Rose. I'm going for a patchy look. Although I now think it would be faster for me to have rotary cut my strips in HSTs, I pulled out my GO Baby to have a play with it.
When selecting my fabrics, I tried to go for an assortment that graduated in light to dark intensity. However, it now appears to me that I am 'mid tone' blind. I always return to selecting mid tone in colour schemes. I don't mind it, I just think it's a curiosity that keeps appearing throughout my quilts and this one is no different. 
and here they are, lined up after cutting
I actually really like my GO Baby cutter and would use it more if I had more dies. The reason I don't is because the shipping from the US to Australia is usually more than the price of the dies themselves. The actual dies are fairly reasonably priced and if I could get free shipping all the way down under, I certainly would use this machine more. There are dies sold closer to home, but they are marked up too high for me to want to support such disparity between pricing. This is one of those realities quilters in Australia have to face a lot - many great products simply cost so much to get. 

However one thing to be said for it is that it does use a lot of fabric. I think the wastage is huge. That said. I have a lot of fabric in my stash and I really don't care if I use a lot of it up in this way. There's so much I have had to get rid of some already, so wasteful stash busting doesn't concern me. You might feel differently if using designer fabrics or starting out with a new stash.
On the fabric scraps that I don't have enough of, I do cut these by hand as I want as many repetitions from them as possible. 
The funny thing is, as I get up and close to these fabrics, I fall in love with them all over again. After folding and refolding fabrics over and over in the meterage, I think they're even nicer in small doses!

Now I just have to arrange their position on the quilt.


  1. it is interesting your take on the cutting machine. So many here in the states have to have some kind of cutter. I am still sitting on the fence with it and do not know if I even want to pay for the Go Baby - it is the price of the dies that really hold me back from getting any of them though. it would be nice to have something to cut but do they have to cost so much! and for all of you down under the price of shipping is horrible I know - I wish the price of shipping hadn't gone up so much in recent years.

  2. Seeing all those perfect little piles of pieces, I think I need a Go-Baby! I agree that it is the cost of the dies that has held me back. And I always thought I wouldn't use the same dies over and over again. But maybe I will check it out once again since I am inspired by your work!

  3. Dear Esther

    This die is the one that came with my cutter. I use it all the time. The time I saved cutting halfsquare triangles, alone have given me the time to complete and start many more quilts. It cuts the pesky corners off for you, making my piecing a pleasure. I searched until I found a company I could get the dies from, at a reasonable price. I order online, with it being shipped to my front door. Not only do the company ( calculate the cost upfront, for shipping, handling, I get no surprise hidden fees when my goods arrive. Living overseas always make a lot of gadgets and tools very pricey, this I know having moved countless times.
    One note on the waste fabric, I use odd shape fabrics scraps which I cut first, after checking the grainline. I cut the scraps, placing them in clear containers, same values, rather than colours. It give the variety I need when looking for my scrappy look. The leftover bits which cannot be used for anything else, go into a fabric pillow. Once filled with scraps, thread cuttings and batting, it is sewn closed. A sturdy pillowcase made for the pillow and it is given to our local animal rescue to be used for the dogs and cats that arrive. The pillow cases is made with a zipper, so the covers can be washed. this way I don't feel guilty about the bit of waste.

    1. What a great idea! I was thinking about ways of how to use up the cut offs, but decided to just throw it as I didn't want to start storing even more fabric. For me personally, I don't mind as I have a lot of fabric. If dies were more affordable I would use my GO! all the time. It's really convenient.

  4. Hi Esther - I LOVE seeing the progress of your Lily Rose quilt. I have a Sizzix die cutter that I use quite a lot. I have the hexagon dies in lots of sizes so I can cut out the fabric and the paper templates really quickly and accurately (no good for fussy cutting little hexies, though). The other die I find really useful is the 4 inch finished square die. I use this to use up the scraps left at the end of a project, to make the quilt backing.

  5. Hi Ester, What size half square die is that, the one youused for this quilt? I am thinking of buying one but not sure yet. I have the Big Shot and need to find out if the dies will fit in it?

    Karen s

  6. Dear Ester
    I recently purchased a half-square triangle ruler it uses strips of fabric and there is NO waste.... I love it.. the ruler was very reasonably priced and it can be used to cut many sizes of HST!


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